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Tony Grist

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An Anniversary [Mar. 7th, 2005|09:56 am]
Tony Grist

Happy birthday to me....

Well, not exactly to me, but to Poliphilo- who's been in existence now for a year.

When I started this LJ on the 7th of March, 2004 I didn't know quite what I wanted to do with it. At first I thought it would be fun to try out a range of different voices- a different voice for every post. No-one was reading me, so it hardly mattered.

Here as an anniversary treat (?) is a reprint of Poliphilo's very first post


Today I wore white.

The professor collected me in his Daimler and we drove deep into the Bernese Oberland. It was a valley he knew. The long grass was full of little flowers, white and red and blue. The professor is very spry for his age. I tell him he looks like Teddy Roosevelt.

We met a girl who was driving cows down from the high pastures. She was a fine specimen of the race, with white hair in braids and bright blue eyes. "I would like to stretch her on the rack," said the professor, "and pull out all those perfect little teeth with pliers."

Something black flew down the length of the valley, very high up. I think it was a zeppelin. The professor lifted my hand and sniffed at my wrist. "You smell of rust," he said.

Yeah, well.....

But that sort of thing palled after a very short time. I began to see what a wonderful medium this is. How anything is possible. The blog is like no form ever invented before. It can be a diary, a column, a notice board, a one-person literary magazine, a one-person newspaper, a picture gallery, a practical joke. And, whatever it is, it has the potential to reach a large, international audience instantly.


And even more amazing- the audience talks back. It's an interactive medium. It creates communities.

Over at  jackiejj 's, naamaire speaks of what we bloggers are doing as "folk-art". I like that. But with the rider that this is folk art at the cutting edge. We are doing something that has never been done before. We are pioneers.

I began playfully. Now, a year down the line, writing this LJ is terribly important to me. 

Bloggo, ergo sum.


[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-03-07 05:16 am (UTC)
And in honor of your Poliphilo birthday, may I present once again your thrilling poem, which I just found, from August 6 of last year?

This poem so engaged me that I thought, I need to read Poliphilo's posts from now on:

Here, I presumptuously present Lorca, which I think is brilliant:

A couple of years ago I wrote a sequence of poems about Granada to accompany a set of photos my sister had taken. It's called "La Alpujarra". There was talk of an exhibition, but it hasn't happened yet. In the process of researching the project I got turned on by Lorca.

He flits in and out of the sequence. Here's one of his appearances.


They made a play of it
They made a ritual.
Invitations were issued to all of Spain.
The tiers were restless.
The green, green bones and the rusty shrouds,
Puppets in corduroy and leather,
The nightingales that fanned the air
Were restless

They drove him up in a black limousine,
Not to be buried.
He wore his pride like an overcoat,
He wore his love like a tilted fedora.
Minotaurs and majas applauded,
All were his creatures.
Cabbage roses of gored flesh,
This was the tribute.

They set him down at the cemetery gates
Not to be buried.
And if one asks where Lorca lies,
Show her the mist above the river,
Show her the road through the orchard dew,
Show her the crags of Andalucia.
They ruined him like a millionaire.
They scattered him to the crowd like silver.

The reference to "cemetery gates" is a nod to another version of the story which has him being executed (as over 2,000 people were) at Granada's municipal cemetery. I've let it stand- even though it's probably not accurate- because I don't think I can change it now without gutting the poem.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-07 05:44 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I've forgotten how we first met. Did I friend you or did you friend me? Was it this poem that did it?
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-03-07 05:49 am (UTC)
I friended you, because of that poem.

And then I went back and read more, so I caught up right away.

I read your poem out loud to my daughter, and she said: "Gosh! I love that! Where did it come from?"

(I joined LJ November of 2003, but didn't begin to write in it seriously until January of 2004, when I retired. What a rush...)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-03-07 06:26 am (UTC)
And then we had a conversation about model villages..... ah, yes.

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